Ignite2017 - Day 1 keynotes recap [Microsoft 365, Modern Workplace, AI and Machine Learning]

To summarize the first day of Ignite 2017 with one word: Microsoft 365. This was shown in both of the keynotes:

Main keynote

The main keynote with Satya Nadella (and crew) was all about Microsoft 365 - the intelligent cloud and workplace. The most important stuff for in my perspective was Microsoft's continued focus in their AI-first and search driven discovery. The main tools for achieving this backend was through Microsoft Graph (which now by the way also gets an integration with LinkedIn graph for the people picker and even more endpoints), Cortana and numerous integration with Microsoft AI throughout the different products such as Microsoft Stream, Teams etc.

Let me give you an example that was demonstrated: A mixed reality meeting was being held in Teams. The meeting is recorded and automatically uploaded to Stream in Office 365. Machine learning and AI highlights and makes the meeting content searchable through speech (and facial) recognition and the video gets automatically posted to the Team-channel. Users can then watch the whole video or just key moments easily. It all looked really neat!

While I discuss the subject I might as well also bring up the not-so-secret fact that was also announced - Teams will replace Skype for Business in the coming year. This has been leaked previously, but you can really tell Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into making Teams the main platform for the future.

The main event also had some Bing for Business information which basically let's the end user search for... everything accessible by the Graph API through the new Bing and the results will be both from the Intranet (SPO) and Internet. The administrators will then get some analytics data and insights on the searchterms and topic of the organisation's employees. It was also possible to add some logic and actions right through the search results and the service could also, with the help of machine learning and AI, search through all documents that has been indexed. End-users could therefore ask and get answers on questions such as "How do I contact HR?" directly through Bing for Business. All in all it looked really good but to be honest, I don't expect companies jumping into Bing for Business anytime soon.

Lastly we got to glimpse into the future for Quantum computers and there was actually a first version of future Quantum computers on the stage...

Keynote 2 - modern workplace

The next big keynote was about the modern workplace of Microsoft in Microsoft 365. The main buzzword here was Intelligent Communication. AI and Machine Learning will help the users get the relevant information (like i wrote just before).

Microsoft showcased the new Whiteboard application in a brainstorming scenario which also uploaded the video/meeting/result to Teams and used Machine Learning to highlight key moments in the meetingvideo.

We did also get to see OneDrive files on demand in the next version of Windows 10. A similar feature will be introduced to the cellphones as well but the other way around: offline (sycned) files on the different devices.

Windows Autopilot was also shown and it's a deployment, enrollment and customization feature which hooks into the setup progress of a new Windows 10 computer. The user picks language, locale and Wifi and if everything works (= the administrator has added the serial number of the computer to Intune) then Windows Autopilot will trigger and ask the user for it's AD-credentials. The Autopilot will then proceed with setting up the new computer with programs and customization (such as setting upp the mailbox client). It all looked really really good.

Lastly Conditional Access was mentioned over and over again throughout the sessions. The main new feature seems to be the ability to give conditional access to different types of sub object, for instance specific word documents or storage accounts. RMS will also be integrated to the Messaging Encryption in Exchange Online. Encrypted messages can then be open in any apps that support Modern Authentication, such as the native Gmail App. So no more open a new browser window just to access an encrypted Word-document. Conditional access can be used to setup what devices should be able to access what and from where, ie: "Computer 1 that is not known in Intune, create it?".

Conditional Access will now also work on webpages such as Sharepoint Online. In the demonstration Microsoft made a SPO-site and protected it so that if you come from the extranet you can only read the documents...


ps. I will post some AD FS news tomorrow, stay tuned ds.